Switzerland: Brewery boss regularly masturbates in front of his secretary – when she reports it, she is fired

For years, a manager masturbated at work in front of his secretary.

Switzerland: Brewery boss regularly masturbates in front of his secretary – when she reports it, she is fired

For years, a manager masturbated at work in front of his secretary. At first she did not address the misconduct – for fear of losing her job, as she told the Swiss newspaper “Blick”. When she finally reported it in 2021, the company responded with a termination. However, it was not her boss who was fired, but she herself.

The incident happened at a subsidiary of the Schützengarten brewery, the oldest brewery in Switzerland. Shortly after she took up the position as a secretary, the woman is said to have caught him watching porn in his office. Instead of stopping, he is said to have forced her to look between two bare women's legs that were featured in a porn film.

In the years that followed, she hit her boss "many times with her hand between his legs." "I had to listen to the groans in my office," says the 59-year-old Blick. She had turned to the newspaper that reported on the incident last week with various confidential documents.

"I think he did it on purpose for me to overhear," the former secretary said. She spoke to her boss about it - and a short time later had to vacate her job due to poor performance. Your supervisor was just warned.

The daily newspaper NZZ spoke to the employment law professor at the University of Zurich Roger Rudolph about the case. He explains that the boss violated his fiduciary and work duties by consuming pornography at work. "After all, you're not employed and paid to watch porn," says Rudolph.

The harassment aspect weighs much more heavily for the labor law professor. After all, he is said to have consciously accepted it and probably even intended that his secretary would notice everything. "For me, that would even be enough for a summary dismissal," says Rudolph. However, Rudolph considers the fact that the woman was fired because she had complained to be abusive. In addition, the employer violated his duty of care.

In the meantime, Schützengarten sales director Kurt Moor and CEO Reto Preisig commented on the incident in a press release: "We are extremely sorry that the employee was harassed and fired. In retrospect, that was wrong and would not have happened like that allowed to." Meanwhile, the employee in question would no longer work for the brewery.

That's not enough for the dismissed secretary. "I would have liked to have had a personal apology," she says. She also demands: "I want my job back."

Sources: Blick, NZZ, Schützengarten press release

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